Visual Novel: Kara no Shoujo
Kara no Shoujo
(Girl of the Shell
) is an erotic visual novel created by game company Innocent Grey.
It’s Tokyo in 1956, right during the middle of the American occupation. Tokisaka Reiji is an ex-cop turned detective after the death of his fiancée six years ago to a serial killer known only by the name Rokushiki Makoto. The story begins when a pair of mutilated bodies are discovered and Reiji’s assistance is requested. At the same time a mysterious young girl named Kuchiki Toko makes a strange request: Please find my true self.
As all the victims have been young female students, Reiji is asked by the school with the most missing students to take a temporary lecturing job while he investigates. The school is rather oppressive and is seemingly populated almost entirely by indistinguishable drones. There are only a few students who seem to have a spark of individuality, and among them are several of the girls who have already been killed. At the academy, he runs into Toko again who asks if he’s made any progress. Can Reiji stop more murders from being committed and also discover whatever it is Toko is looking for?Kara no Shoujo
was released in early July 2011 by Mangagamer after they purchased the translation from a fan group. The 2013 sequel Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode
has also been licensed by Mangagamer, and its translation will be released soon.
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Tropes applying to Kara no Shoujo
- A Love to Dismember: First murder arc ends with telling us that Kusaka has sex with the rotting composite corpse of his sister and the other girls from Schisma before committing suicide. Unless he was killed.
- A-Cup Angst: Kazuna, Shugo’s wife.
- AB Negative: Toko Kuchiki is of the Bombay Blood group, which is a real blood type that can give blood to ABO blood types, but cannot receive blood back from them due to antibodies. They can only receive transfusions from other members of the group.
- Accidental Misnaming: Reiji starts calling Tsuzuriko Tojiko early on since her name is hard to say. Yukari does it sometimes as well.
- Affably Evil: All the three serial killers were introduced as nice and unassuming people, and some of them was even cooperative during his investigation, before they were revealed to be the murderous psychopaths the police (and Reiji) were after.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Orihime, the student council president, is reserved and elegant with the apparent worship of the younger girls. Being forced to live like this all the time has caused her to snap and enlist some of the other girls she knows into a prostitution ring for the sole purpose of shaming the school.
- Anyone Can Die: There are a lot of endings, and there are a lot of dead people in them. Tojiko, Orihime and Mizuhara always die and Toko only lives in one ending… as a torso. Hatsune and Kyoko always live.
- The Atoner: Mamiya Shinzo. He went insane after his first wife was accidentally killed by his son and developed an obsession with Misa, Toko’s mother. Eventually, he killed her and Shinjiused her as the model for Kara no Shoujo. His son saw this and, as he was already pretty screwed up, snapped. [[spoiler:When Shinzo was sane again, Shinji was gone. When the latter resurfaced, Shinzo did his best to help but by then it was of course too late.
- Bittersweet Ending: The endings where Rokushiki is caught. Okay, most of the cast is dead, but Reiji and Kyoko have put their pasts behind them and seem to be moving towards hooking up. Or Hatsune if you met with her more. Whether you count Shinji getting away as a good or bad thing is up to personal interpretation, though to be fair it seems like he’s put his… interests… behind him.
- Bungled Suicide: Yaginuma’s sister attempted to kill herself after a long train of rape and abuse at her father’s hands. She doesn’t die, but she’s left brain damaged from lack of oxygen and despite the obvious signs of abuse, Yaginuma’s father still got away with it.
- But Not Too Foreign: Stella. Justified in that any fully foreign person would be very out of place in 1956 Japan.
- But Thou Must: There are a few decisions where you’re given a choice of whether to do something or not, but you’ll generally end up doing it either way. For example, whether or not to try Hatsune’s cooking.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Mizuhara Toko. She actually does recognize Reiji as a good person and claims to herself not to hate him, but she still can’t get along with him due to her fixation on Kuchiki.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Yukari worries about koi drowning, has a fondness for insects and uses them in her cooking.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Hatsune’s tuna, tomato and soy sauce pancakes are surprisingly edible. The chocolate and baking soda sandwiches are not.
- Continuity Nod: This series takes place after Innocent Grey's previous work Cartagra in which Takashiro Shugo is the main character. Takashiro, Kazuna and Hatsune are returning character from Cartagra.
- Death by Sex: If you come across a sex scene with someone, they’re probably going to die in about a minute or two. Bad End! There are exceptions. Kyoko, Natsume, and Hatsune never die even if you sleep with them, and Toko sometimes survives.
- Death of the Author: Mentioned in regard to the painting Kara no Shoujo. What the painter intended to express is not as important as what the viewer thinks. Probably because what the author intended was just an expression of his paranoia and madness.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted as part of Shinji's backstory. Zigzagged with Mizuhara Toko - what she does to Reiji is not consensual and is played as highly traumatic to him, but is still recorded for the player as a collectible and desirable sex scene
- Downer Ending: There are a lot of bad ends with extended story. The first three endings apart from those are probably even worse. The Rokushiki captured endings manage to get all the way to bittersweet except the last one, the true end. That one’s ‘’also’’ basically a downer.
- Driven to Suicide: Orihime before her bad end, which is interrupted. Shinzo, on the other hand, succeeds after he kills his son.
- Eats Babies: Rokushiki didn’t actually eat the aborted fetus. No, he fed it to the mother.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It's implied that Rokushiki, who egged on the two main killers, saved Kazuna and killed the first killer. The reason being that the latter was getting too indiscriminate: Kazuna was married and intended to have the baby, but the killer still attacked her like the others.
- Everyone Is Related: Once Rokushiki’s identity is uncovered and Shinji’s connection to Toko discovered, it becomes clear how much all the cast was connected.
- Eye Scream: The girl noted below had her eyes cut after she died.
- Fan Disservice: Pretty naked girls are a good thing, right? Not when their arms have been severed and they’ve just died via having their heads turned backward and the text notes how the killer is removing their uterus. Even worse, most of the girls you can have sex with are brutally killed soon afterwards.
- Freak Out: In one bad ending, Mizuhara convinces herself that she’s Kuchiki and acts completely different. But she’s still not acting like Kuchiki and doesn’t seem to truly understand who she’s trying to imitate. Also, Rokushiki Makoto used to be a nice guy, but then he ended up probably the most horrible person in the story.
- From Bad to Worse: Toko getting hit by a car is bad enough. How about now we kill off Mizuhara, and then have Toko’s limbs removed via surgery to save her life and then have her kidnapped? And she only gets to live through one of these kidnappings.
- Hate at First Sight: It's implied that Yaginuma and Reiji instantly hated each other, though they've known each other for some time before the story begins. It's not hard to see why: Yaginuma is intentionally an asshole to everyone.
- If It's You, It's Okay: An early scene with Kuchiki Toko and Mizuhara Toko has Mizuhara sort-of in love with Kuchiki, but admitting that since neither are lesbians there’s nothing she can do about it.
- I Just Want to Be You: Mizuhara Toko, for Kuchiki Toko.
- Ill Girl: Toko has ablastic anemia.
- I'm a Humanitarian: In the depths of his madness, Rokushiki ate Yukiko’s head.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Reiji tricks Murase into revealing that he knew that Nene had kidnapped Toko and also that he was involved himself.
- Insufferable Genius: Yaginuma is a dick with an inflated view of his own abilities, but he still is pretty good.
- Interrupted Suicide: In one early bad end, Orihime is about to commit suicide out of guilt and self-loathing and is stopped by Reiji. Considering what happens to her immediately after, maybe it would have been best if she had succeeded.
- Jerkass: Yaginuma and Murase consistently antagonize Reiji for seemingly no reason.
- Jerkass Façade: However, Yaginuma at least does it out of being pretty psychologically damaged and not wanting anyone to get close to him and end up like his sister.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Natsume, sort of. She speaks in a strange mishmash that’s mostly based on this, though.
- Karma Houdini: Shinji gets away in some endings. Though he’s a fairly pitiful figure, he did kill off most of the cast.
- Keep the Reward: Reiji feels he didn’t earn a paycheck from Ouba.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At one point Reiji insists Yukari couldn't have told him about the Easter event at her school because he didn't write it in his notebook like he does with most information in the game.
- Life or Limb Decision: Toko’s grandfather removed all her limbs in order to save her life. That… really makes it clear why they were sure she couldn’t struggle. Though she dies in most of the following endings anyway.
- Mad Artist: During a period of deep insanity, Mamiya Shinzo created Kara no Shoujo by killing his lover, Misa, and using her body as a model. Now that he’s sane again you might say he’s not terribly proud of his masterpiece.
- Magnum Opus: In-Universe, the Kara no Shoujo is considered as Mamiya Shinzo's greatest work.
- Multiple Endings: Most of which are bad.
- Repetitive Name: Stella’s older sister, Celestial Stella. Both are related to stars.
- Selective Obliviousness: Reiji realizes how Kyoko feels about him, he just doesn’t think it would be right to be involved with her.
- Serial Killer: The game's core storyline. Reiji's main objective is to find the person responsible for the gruesome murder and dismemberment of numerous school girls.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Rather than being defensive about it, Reiji is mostly confused as to why everyone thinks there’s something between him and Toko. Tojiko and Mizuhara both assume he’s slept with her.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Mizuhara seems to live for Kuchiki.
- Smarter Than You Look: Tsuzuriko may seem like a stupidly Hot-Blooded Genki Girl, but is very knowledgeable in history and literature, and had given many useful information for Reiji's investigation.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The notebook tends to be professional in its contents until a little after Yaginuma is introduced. There’s a brief description of him as normal followed by “Still an asshole.”
- Student Council President: Orihime is the "role model student" in Ouba Academy, and appears to be the one responsible to reinforce the school rules.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Considering Reiji is posing as a teacher to get close to girls who fit the victims' profile, it's just a matter of time.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Toko is very similar to her mother Misa.
- Title Drop: Kara no Shoujo is considered the masterpiece of painter Mamiya Shinzo. It depicts a girl who looks like Toko inside a black egg.
- Truly Single Parent: Toko allegedly has no biological father, because the only sexual relations her mother had before giving birth to her is with Makoto Rokushiki, who claims to be sterile.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Reiji and Uozumi seem to spend most of their time arguing or sniping with each other. However, Reiji admits in one of his monologues that Uozumi is one of his most trusted companions.
- What the Hell, Hero?: One of the bad endings has Reiji attempt to mutilate Takashiro to find the key to the prison Yukari is trapped in. Uozumi, who arrives at the scene shortly afterwards, was forced to arrest him despite sympathizing with his reasons to do so.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Yukari is a calm, and extremely well-mannered girl who takes charge of all the household chores in the family. She even wears traditional Japanese clothing around the house. However, she's also a slight cloud cuckoolander and has some rather questionable taste, which either detracts from the impression or puts it in a comical light.
Tropes applying to Kara no Shoujo 2:
- The Atoner: Ayako/Fuyumi had to abandon her baby in an orphanage, so she adopted Yukiko in order to atone for it.
- Bittersweet Ending: The True End. Most of the cast is okay and gets a happy ending. Reiji also finally gets to find Touko....as a corpse. However, before dying, Touko was pregnant, so Reiji’s new mission is to find his baby.
- Cartwright Curse: All the girls Ayato had sex with or were his fiances died. Satsuki (the real one) was killed by Ayako while the others were killed by a jealous Karen.
- Chekhov's Gun: Yukiko's hairclip. It was given to her by Fuyumi and serves as a clue that Fuyumi and Satsuki/Ayako are the same person.
- Death by Childbirth: Poor Toko...
Toko: It’s crying. This precious life, only having been born into this world moments ago... is crying. Ah... I’m so glad. I’m so glad that you’re healthy. His blood runs in your veins, the blood of a person that meant the most to me. Thank you so much for being born. Please...I want you to live and be happy in my place as well. I don’t have much time left to live...I am unable to even embrace the child I’ve given birth to...Nor can I convey these feelings to anyone...So let me rest...and pray that the next time I awaken, I will be in his embrace..
- Death by Sex: Satsuki was murdered shortly after having sex with Ayato. It turns out that Ayako had sex with Ayato and the real Satsuki was killed in her place.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Ayato and Ayako/Fuyumi are revealed to be Michiru's parents.
- Everyone Is Related: Because Ayato and Karen's father Really Gets Around. It turns out that Ayato, Karen, the real Satsuki and Yuka are related.
- I Just Want to Be You: Yukiko considers herself a hollow shell who merely “assimilated” other personalities. And by assimilating we mean to kill them. She killed her twin brother when she was young and in a bad end she kills Yukari and adopts her personality, much to Reiji's horror.
- I Have Many Names: Ayako Shigusa, who after the whole Ayato incident had to change her name to Fuyumi Kayahara. And, she was mistaken for the real Satsuki.
- The Lost Lenore: Ayato's motivation is to find who murdered his sweetheart Satsuki. it turns out that Ayato was dating Ayako all along and the real Satsuki was killed by Ayako.
- Maybe Ever After: The True End implies this is the case with Ayato and Ayako/Fuyumi
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Satsukis. One is Saya's daughter and Ayato's sweetheart, Ayako (who was an Identical Stranger) and the other is the Satsuki who is Ayato and Karen's half-sister and was murdered by Ayako. And it turns out that Michiru, the baby Ayako abandoned was originally named Satsuki.
- Orphanage of Fear: The Hinagami killing drug illegally entered the orphanage Yukiko and Michiru were to test on all of the kids.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Toko died some time after the first game. Also, Shinji died of unknown causes.
- That Man Is Dead: After accidentally murdering Saya, Ayato runs away, moves to Tokyo and changed his name to Masaki, the name of a dead friend from the Army. However, he always happens to run around people who recognize him as Ayato. Also, after murdering the real Satsuki, Ayako escaped and moved to Tokyo where with some influence from Rokushiki, sha changed her name to Fuyumi. Both get better in the end.
- Together in Death: The endings when Karen is caught and Ayato decides to kill himself out of guilt. Also, the Paranoia End, when Reiji dies after hitting his head when looking for Toko's corpse and reunites with her in the afterlife.
- Yandere: Karen, towards Ayato. When she found out she couldn’t get pregnant, she didn’t want anyone to take her brother away and killed all his fiances.